Duplex by Warden Subway

As a realtor / wealth builder, we are always on the look out for opportunities! We came across this amazing listing on MLS one day - it looked great on paper so we went to see it in person... Take a look at this gem!

The listing in question

PRICE - Listed at $599,900. It was originally listed at $668,000, but was not getting any bites, so sellers lowered the price to $599,900.

THE HOUSE - It was an abandoned single family 3+1 bed 2 bath detached house. There was 1 kitchen on the main floor and 1 in the basement. The bones were great in this home. There was no evidence of any major deficiencies. Basement had a separate entrance, which is great because that means we don’t have to build one. In addition, the property was vacant. No hassle of evicting a tenant for renovations. We had control from the beginning!

LOCATION - Minutes away from Warden Subway. A TTC accessible location is key for rentals. Considering the property is in the east end, most tenants who look for rentals in this area would have cars and in need of parking spaces, which came with the property!

After negotiations, we purchased the property at $575,000. Now time for renovation!



The goal at the outset was to create a home that would attract wonderful tenants at better-than-market rents. Not only that, we wanted a long-term, maintenance-free income property. We managed to do all that AND create a LEGAL secondary suite. We meet zoning and building/fire code. It’s also mostly silent between the two floors. It’s safe to say, we achieved the goal we set out to hit.

These days modern = open concept. Gone are the days where all rooms were separate. It makes each room feel smaller and the home is darker overall.

We were able to sprawl the entire vinyl (waterproof and mostly life proof) flooring across the entire apartment without the need for breaks and junctions. The result is a wonderful and inviting space that tenants love.

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UPSTAIRS - A lot of the work in the upper floor was done to freshen up the home and breathe new life into the place. Gone are all the swirly plaster ceilings, the dreary kitchen, the dark living room. The pink and beige and black bathroom with its old (and loud vent) have also been discarded. In its place, we have a brand new modern kitchen with a massive 6’ island, stainless steel appliances, and quartz countertops.

There was no laundry in this unit. We closed off the stairs to the basement so that we could introduce private laundry for the apartment. The apartment has 3 good size bedrooms. The bathroom has been completely remodelled with gorgeous stone tiles and black hardware accents.


For the bathroom, we brought the black hardware accents from the main areas of the apartment into the bathroom for a cohesive look. The tiles were imported from Italy. The deep soaker tub is slick and modern. All plumbing fixtures were all also replaced, as was the plumbing stack in the wall leading to the basement. We found the perfect spot to house the brand new stacked washer/dryer. Took a bit of effort, and now the upstairs apartment is ready to be fully self-sufficient. The back wall of the washer/dryer combo unit is insulated for sound so there is less noise to the basement.

Legal basement that doesn’t feel like a basement

Legal basement that doesn’t feel like a basement

LOWER - This is where the magic really happened. This is where the true value of the home lies and where 2/3 of the budget was needed. We engaged with Suite Additions to help plan for a fully legal, compliant secondary suite for the basement apartment. It meant a bunch of things, like the opening of an egress window, the movement of plumbing, the introduction of insulation for comfort (walls), noise (ceilings) and fire throughout. All of this was completed with proper permits and building inspections. The house is fully compliant as a legal secondary suite. And that is absolutely massive for an investor, particularly when securing great tenants and a great mortgage. We comply with natural lighting. It doesn’t stop there. We added a brand new furnace, central air-conditioner and humidifier. We created another ensuite laundry closet. We scoped the floor drain to make sure it is all clear. All brand new electrical work by a master electrician. The fire alarms are all compliant with fire code and are wired with upstairs. There’s even a fire detector in the vents - we fully comply.


How much does it take to get this procedure (purchase -> renovation -> re-finance -> rent -> sit back and relax as you obtain passive income) done? Let me show you with some actual numbers!


We purchased this wonderful property for $575,000. Since it’s an investment property, we had to put down 20% as our down payment, which is $115,000. The remainder is the initial mortgage = $460,000.

Let’s say renovations cost about $100,000. The previously outdated property is now a beautiful sleek home with modern finishes. We invited an appraiser to the property to get a new property value. He said “Your home is valued at $850,000!“ Nice! Time to refinance. :)

Our new mortgage is $680,000 (which is 80% of $850,000). The equity left over is $850,000 - $680,000 = $170,000.

With the new mortgage of $680,000, I paid off the initial mortgage of $460,000. Then I still had $220,000 left over.

Then I gave myself back the down payment, which leaves me $105,000.

I even gave myself back the renovation costs. And I still have $5,000 left. Not only that (and this is the beauty of the Mangos Method), I have $170,000 in equity.